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Care Delivery

 

The total number of licensed physicians has increased by 12 percent since 2010, with women and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) making up a greater share of the physician population, according to a report released by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

Walla Walla General Hospital in Washington has been closed by owner Adventist Health, citing financial challenges and a failed plan to transfer ownership Providence Health & Services.

There appears to be a direct link between hospitals’ initiatives to improve blood use stewardship and a 20 percent decrease in blood utilization for 134 diagnoses which make up 80 percent of red blood cell usage.

Most healthcare organizations with revenue under $1 billion surveyed by the Ernst & Young LLP Advisory Health practice reported having no value-based reimbursement initiatives and placed a lower priority on bundled payments and alternative payment models than larger systems.

States would be able to waive requirements for insurers to cover the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s “essential health benefits” (EHBs) under Republican plans to replace the law. The benefits most likely to be waived, however, make up small shares of premiums compared to other costs, according to an analysis from Urban Institute fellows Linda Blumberg, PhD, and John Holahan, PhD.

 

Recent Headlines

Will healthcare providers become social safety net providers, too?

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund lays out the economic incentive the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates for healthcare providers to address social disparities along with medical needs.

Surgeons largely left out of ACO efforts

Although surgical procedures are among the most expensive of claims, Accountable Care Organization (ACO) cost reduction efforts don’t pay much attention to surgery as an area where possible waste in healthcare delivery may occur finds a new study published in Health Affairs.

Anthem/HealthCare Partners ACO says it saved $4.7 Million in California healthcare cost in just six months

The analysis of healthcare spending by Anthem Blue Cross and HealthCare Partners in California offers one of the first large documented examples of how accountable care organizations (ACOs) may trim costs in the commercial PPO population.

Hospital saves $500,000 in fall prevention but sees little of savings itself

Simple low-cost changes can make a big difference in the overall cost of care is what New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, recently found when it crunched the number on its Lean management effort in fall prevention. However, it also found that most of those savings went to the government, insurers and patients, and not the hospital.

AHRQ publishes tool to reduce hospital readmissions

A key quality measure for many payment systems is a hospital’s rate of preventable readmissions, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) new Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit aims to help institutions improve their numbers.

4 ideas for better integration of palliative care in medicine

Medicine as practiced today has lost its acceptance of the finite nature of human life and this is leading to negative consequences for elderly patients with multiple health problems, argues physician and nurse palliative care experts a Health Affairs commentary.

Expand audience for healthcare price data urges policy center

A new analysis by the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center finds that moving beyond just encouraging patients to shop for healthcare services and also involving ordering physicians, employers and policymakers in healthcare spending decisions could save $100 billion over 10 years.

Healthcare execs name UnitedHealthcare as the insurer they trust the least

Perennial insurance industry bad boy UnitedHealthcare continued to score at the bottom in the annual ReviveHealth National Payor Survey, which measures the opinions and attitudes of hospital and health system leaders who negotiate and/or approve managed care contracts with national health insurance companies.

Physician recruitment competition increases starting salaries and benefits

With future success on the line, healthcare systems and physician practices are racing to hire more new physicians than the competition, and the recruitment wars are pushing up starting salaries and benefits for doctors finds the latest Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey.

Hospitals buying up physician practices increases cost of care, new study finds

Stanford researchers examined hospital claims for privately insured patients between 2001 and 2007 and found that what some health economists had warned does indeed seem to be true — hospital ownership of physician groups does seem to lead to more expensive care.

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